The US Small Business Administration (SBA) direct loan forgiveness portal now accepts applications from borrowers. For borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less, the new portal has streamlined the process for forgiveness.
What was the PPP?
The Paycheck Protection Act was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in 2020. The program enabled the SBA to provide forgivable loans to qualifying small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 60% of a PPP loan could be used for payroll expenses and up to 40% towards non-payroll costs such as utilities, rent, mortgage interest. Nine out of ten PPP loans are less than $150,000. Last spring, we compared the different federal disaster loans for COVID-19 for you if you need a refresher.
The second round of PPP loans
In December 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 introduced the Economic Aid Act, which authorized additional funding to small borrowers and extended the loan program to March 31, 2021. The second round of PPP loans is limited to businesses with 300 employees or less and locations with at least a 25% decline in revenue for at least one quarter in 2020 compared to previous quarters. The SBA provides a COVID Revenue Reduction Score for borrowers that replaces the need to provide documentation realizing smaller businesses may not have the ability to produce profit and loss statements.
The Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal
The new portal provides timely relief for 6.5 million small businesses by allowing them to request forgiveness directly from the SBA.
Here’s how it works:
The borrower’s lender must have agreed to participate in the direct forgiveness program by opting in.
For $150,000 or less loans, the borrower fills out the information usually required on Form 3508S.
If a borrower has used a second draw PPP loan, then they may upload documentation as proof that the 25% revenue reduction requirement was met when not utilizing the COVID Revenue Reduction Score
Lenders approve or reject a loan application submitted by the borrower. If they require additional information or corrections, they will let you know.
Once approved by the lender, the SBA reviews forgiveness applications.
There are now over 600 banks that have opted into the direct forgiveness program.